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Getting your papers published: Or how to win editors and influence assessors∗

  • Herschel Prins (a1)
Extract

During the past three years it has been my task and privilege to act as an assessor for The British Journal of Psychiatry. In this time I have assessed, and in some cases reassessed, over 30 papers. Having looked back on my comments on these papers a number of common criticisms emerge. I thought intending contributors to the Journal might find it helpful if I commented upon some of these. I hope I do so with a sense of humility, since it is always easy to criticise the work of others and appear to be patronising. However, I have the impression that if intending authors paid heed to some of my suggestions (which are certainly not original) they would save themselves a great deal of disappointment and save the assessors and the Editors of the Journal a degree of frustration and occasional irritation.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Useful sources of guidance
In addition to dictionaries of one kind or another there are some other very useful sources of guidance for authors. I have listed a selection of these. The pamphlet by Booth is a very useful short primer.
Booth, V. (1975) Writing a Scientific Paper, (3rd edn). London: Biochemical Society in association with Koch-Light Laboratories. (This booklet of only 26 pages contains very relevant information in summary form).
Collins, F. H. (1969) Author's and Printer's Dictionary, (10th edn), London: Oxford University Press. (A very useful complement to the conventional dictionary. Contains some less familiar words and phrases).
Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the Oxford University Press , (1970) (32nd edn). London: Oxford University Press. (Contains a mine of information about style, punctuation, grammar, spelling and the correction of proofs. Anyone who intends to write regularly would do well to possess this little book).
King, L. S. (1978) Why Not Say it Clearly? A Guide to Scientific Writing, Boston: Little Brown & Co. (A good introductory text aimed at a medical readership. Contains some useful and amusing examples of how not to express yourself!).
Linton, M. (1972) A Simplified Style Manual For the Preparation of Journal Articles in Psychology, Social Sciences, Education and Literature, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. (Although not intended primarily for medical writers this book contains some very relevant information).
Lock, S. (1977) Thorne's Better Medical Writing, (2nd edn), London: Pitman Publishing. (A useful introductory text for medical authors).
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Getting your papers published: Or how to win editors and influence assessors∗

  • Herschel Prins (a1)
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